The Perfect Weapon is a short story published as an eBook, by Delilah S. Dawson, author of Phasma and Galaxy’s Edge: Black Spire. The story features Bazine Netal, a female mercenary who is intelligent and calculating which are both traits that help make her good at her job.
The story opens with Bazine Netal excepting a job from an anonymous client to retrieve a mysterious case. The client also informs Netal that she has competition getting the case a competitor known as Narglatch is also in pursuit of the case.
All she has to go on is that the case is in the possession of a former imperial stormtrooper, Jor Tribulus. She sets out on the mission by visiting the man who raised her as an orphan Delphi Kloda to ask him if she can borrow his ship the Sparrowhawk. Kloda ran a combat school and taught her everything she knows.
Kloda has one stipulation to borrowing his old Mandalorian ship, she has to take one of his students with her Orri Tenro. Tenro is a slicer and could bring a special skill set to the mission. Bazine is reluctant to take him with her. She thinks he will slow her down.
They head off to the planet Vashka in search of Tribulus and the mysterious case. Netal and Tenro encounter several obstacles on the mission including apidactyls, a human-sized winged insect with a venomous stinger. In the end, Netal is surprised to find out who Narglatch is and the motives behind the case.
Bazine is cunning and excellent at going unnoticed. She takes many precautions to slip under the radar. Netal often wears a wig or a leather skull cap. She even goes as far as to paint her fingertips every day with Rishi eel ink to conceal her fingerprints.
Netal grew up in an orphanage on the planet Chaaktil. As a child, she was taken by Delphi Kloda and raised in his combat school. She picked up some practical skills along the way like learning to use several types of deadly martial arts and remain unseen.
At the age of fourteen, she put those skills to the test on her first assignment. She decided to go against her training of keeping a low profile and play more of the vamp instead. The mark caught on quickly and she met the business-end of his flamethrower. This incident is why she wears a skull cap.
I really liked Bazine as a character. I found her to be mysterious, fascinating, and elusive. She has been through it and has come out on the other side. She is technically a villain in the Star Wars universe since she follows the money and doesn’t think much about the consequences. She got literally got burned once and after that goes above and beyond to fly under the radar. She is the definition of an empowered independent woman. She has the guts to stand up for herself and the confidence to rely on her training.
Orri Tenro is a Pantorean slicer who attended Delphi Kloda’s combat school. He is great with a datapad but a terrible at blending in as a spy. He is partnered up with Bazine Netal by Kloda to enhance his street smarts.
Orri brings a specific set of skills to the table. He is the typical tech guy. Great with a computer not so great at reading people. Kloda pawns him off on Bazine so he doesn’t have to deal with him anymore. Tenro is a native, young, smart guy. He knows his way around a database and for sure helps accomplish the mission to Vashka.
Orri was a great match-up to Bazine. Bazine was a smart and experienced spy. Orri was smart in a way Bazine just couldn’t be. He reminds me of Dolin, the native farm boy from Dawson’s other book Galaxy’s Edge: Black Spire. Dolin is a loyal asset to Vi Moradi just like Orri is to Bazine. He brings balance to Bazine and keeps her on her toes.
Bazine Netal makes a brief appearance in Episode VII: The Force Awakens. She can be seen hanging out at Maz Kanata’s castle with her then-boyfriend Grummgar. Bazine is undercover as a spy for the First Order. She reports to the First Order that the fugitive BB-8 is there at the castle. Shortly after she might regret that decision when the Forst Order swoops in and starts the first battle of the Resistance-First Order war.
The Perfect Weapon was an intriguing short story. I have read several Star Wars books by Delilah S. Dawson and I enjoy her writing style. She usually has a strong female lead partnered with a male companion to complete a mission. I like reading about female Star Wars characters and I’m glad there is a trend with Dawson showcasing them.
The eBook hooks you from the beginning and keeps you turning the digital pages. I liked getting to know Bazine as a character. I have seen The Force Awakens several times but I barely noticed her character in the one scene she is in. Bazine had an interesting back story that you would never know if you didn’t read The Perfect Weapon. I like learning about obscure characters that I would otherwise overlook.
My one complaint about this book was the ending. The Perfect Weapon left me with unanswered questions. I don’t want to spoil the ending by revealing it here but let’s just say there is no concrete answer as to what is in the case Bazine and Orri risked their lives to recover from Tribulus. I feel like I invested in the time to read the story and got left hanging.
I give this short story eBook a score of 8/10. I loved the story and the characters especially Bazine Netal. She had all the secret spy qualities that I love to read about. The book hooked me early on and kept me interested. I was disappointed with two things. First, it was a short story so it was over quickly. I was able to read the entire thing over the course of two days in a couple of hours. Secondly, The ending left me hanging. I didn’t get a concrete answer as to what was in the case and as far as I know, I might never know what was in there.